The power of networking and knowledge sharing

It’s true. We live in a connected world. There’s never been a time in our world’s history when humanity has so many tools and resources to connect. This poses a powerful opportunity for businesses and team members within organizations. And it’s achieved through networking and knowledge sharing. 

If you still aren’t sure what these terms mean and how to apply them, this post is for you. Here, we explore the meaning behind these concepts a, why they are so powerful,nd how you can use them to your advantage. Let’s take a closer look.

 

What are networking and knowledge sharing?

 

Both networking and knowledge sharing are different parts of the same coin. They deal with forging relationships, exploring opportunities for organizational growth (internal and external), and help stakeholders gain a competitive advantage. Here’s what these two terms mean.

  • Networking: if you’ve ever had a lunch with a prospect who ended up being a business client, you’re a member of an industry association, or you like connecting with like-minded individuals on social networks – you’ll know what networking is. In short, it is a continuous process of establishing newfound relationships that you nurture for the sake of your organization’s growth. 

 

These relationships can be forged with customers, future employees, investors, suppliers, distributors, resellers, mentors, and even marketing and advertising agencies. Although we already mentioned a couple of examples above, there are several ways you can network. 

They include creating casual contact networks, which are informal meetings between professionals to exchange ideas. Other examples include “strong contact networks”, community service networks, professional associations, and online or social media networks. The ultimate goal is to foster relationships that are mutually beneficial for both parties. 

  • Knowledge sharing: whereas networking is primarily aimed at stakeholders external to your organization, knowledge sharing is more of an internal activity. Through it, managers, leaders, and teams come together to literally “share knowledge” with each other through specially created spaces. Such knowledge can either be tacit, explicit, or implicit. 

 

Tacit knowledge generally means knowledge that is acquired through direct observation and experience. Explicit knowledge is generally shared in the written form through documents and presentations. Finally, implicit knowledge, which is difficult to identify and capture, refers to sharing experiences, traditions, and cultural practices. 

Of course, knowledge sharing isn’t always easy and it can be hindered by certain barriers that need to be overcome. Examples of these include through the presence of knowledge silos, the practice of knowledge hoarding, and lack of opportunity, which is mainly driven by the fact that there is a greater shift toward remote work.

 

Why are they important?

 

Having clarified what these two important concepts are, let’s explore why they are important and what kind of benefits they can bring your organization. We start with networking and move on to knowledge sharing. 

 

The benefits of networking

 

  • Generate business leads and customers through referrals to boost sales (the same goes for new suppliers)
  • Take advantage of new business opportunities
  • Learn more about industry standards and gain valuable insights from other professionals
  • Identify new industry trends, innovations, and developments
  • Boost awareness of your brand in your circles and beyond by raising your business profile
  • Gain a deeper understanding of differing perspectives
  • Offers the opportunity to receive coaching or mentorship
  • Can help you develop social skills, boost your confidence and raise your profile
  • Encourage sharing of new ideas
  • Ability to find information to benchmark your business against
  • Increase the number of valuable connections you have
  • Fosters a climate for identifying new business opportunities 
  • Get support from like-minded individuals
  • Build relationships with other businesses that can be mutually beneficial
  • Find solutions to some of your business’ challenges
  • Become a go-to source of help in your network
  • Access new talent
  • Be at the forefront of the release of the latest industry information to stay current
  • Start sharing your knowledge and experience as a value-add and to raise your profile

 

Knowledge sharing

 

  • Improve your organizational alignment
  • Boost your team’s productivity levels
  • Enahnce levels of knowledge retention
  • Boost communication and collaboration
  • Enjoy more financial and resource savings through improved productivity and processes
  • Increases job satisfaction, employee morale, engagement, and retention
  • Innovate your way to growth and a greater competitive advantage
  • Make decisions and solve problems more efficiently
  • Improve the quality of your products and/or services
  • Boost your customers’ experience and improve client relationships
  • Reduce the need for reworking and address redundancy of tasks
  • Make more informed decisions and avoid knowledge loss
  • Identify opportunities for growth
  • Limit the skill gap
  • Build a culture of learning

 

How can you make the most of networking and knowledge sharing?

 

With so many pluses to networking and knowledge sharing, it’s time to learn how you can go about making the most of these opportunities. Here are a few suggestions we can offer to help you achieve your goals.

 

Networking

 

  • Identify the right people you want to network with and be proactive
  • Offer assistance, knowledge, and expertise where possible
  • Attend business seminars, industry associations, and company events
  • Make sure to follow up after events
  • Create a social media profile (e.g. LinkedIn) and build a network of valuable contacts
  • Have an elevator pitch ready

 

Knowledge sharing

 

  • Encourage a culture where knowledge sharing is appreciated by setting an example and leading from the front
  • Acknowledge and address barriers that may arise
  • Aim to reduce barriers to communication
  • Experiment with different styles and areas of learning
  • Create roles and processes in knowledge sharing
  • Create spaces where learning can happen
  • Encourage knowledge-sharing activities and reward them
  • Make use of tools and software to encourage knowledge sharing
  • Let your team lead the way
  • Create a formal knowledge management process
  • Encourage formal training programs, mentoships, and collaboration

 

In conclusion

 

As we wrap up this article, it becomes clear that there are many steps involved in networking and knowledge sharing. In addition, these processes are continuous and are not a once-off event that has a deadline. You and the members of your organization should strive to foster and nurture relationships through networking as well as build a culture of knowledge sharing. The power of these two elements cannot be underestimated in our connected world. And it’s worth preparing your strategy for both today!

Published: May 22, 2023

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StorsenDigital is a leading company that specializes in sourcing the best outsourcing talents in Europe. With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, skilled professionals are in high demand, and StorsenDigital is at the forefront of managing the supply and demand of these talents.
StorsenDigital is a leading company that specializes in sourcing the best outsourcing talents in Europe. With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, skilled professionals are in high demand, and StorsenDigital is at the forefront of managing the supply and demand of these talents.